Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Billy Ray Essary, Sgt., USAF (Fallen)November 23, 1941 – October 15, 1973
UH-1NFort Bragg, NC15 October 1973
Playground Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL.)Wed, Oct 17, 1973, page 1
Hurlburt Man Dead In Crash
Air Force Officials confirmed Tuesday that Sgt. Billy R. Essary 21 of Finley, Tenn., and the 317th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field had died in the crash of a helicopter at Fort Bragg, NC., Monday.
A 1st Special Operations Wing spokesman also said that one of the U.S. Army passengers had died in the crash landing of the UH-1N helicopter and another had been sent to the Army Burn Center at Brook General Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Tex.
Three other crewmembers, all from Hurlburt Field are listed in satisfactory condition at Womack Army Hospital, Maj. Robert J. Ellinger, 1st Lt. Terry D. Ohlemeier and SMSgt. David G. Smith, all of the 317th SOS.
The helicopter crash-landed and burned during a joint military exercise called Operation Brass Key II on the south edge of the Fort Bragg military reservations near Raeford, NC.